Friday, April 26, 2013

Gorgeous New England: John Carver Inn & Beach Plum Spa

I was invited to visit The John Carver Inn and Beach PlumSpa located in historical Plymouth, MA.  This would be my first time EVER going on a relaxing vacation ALONE. Alone? Really?  My honey isn't joining me?  What about the kids?  As I packed an overnight bag the answers to my questions became very clear… Yes, Yes, No, They will be fine.  *Sunglasses on, music on, and windows downs*

So off I went on a drive that spanned less than one hour to the final destination. I drove upon a panoramic coastal view that made me feel like I had flown over 300 miles to paradise. Wow! It’s amazing how you can visit a location several times as a kid and never fully experience the true beauty and appreciation until you return as an adult.  Yes, Massachusetts kids field trip to the Mayflower, Plymouth Plantation, and Plymouth Rock yearly.  But the bustling between yellow school buses, loud school kid chatter and the trading of brown bag lunches pretty much overshadows the beauty of it all. Yeah, so back to the trip!  My excitement set in and I could not wait to find The John Carver Inn.  I was greeted by  Old New England charm, the most pleasant staff and shortly thereafter the lovely owner, Deb Catania.  Ms. Catania gave me a tour of the Inn which has 80 rooms (standard hotel to luxurious suites) She shared her creative ideas about the design of the Inn “I want to stay true to Old New England while still implementing "new luxuries.” New luxuries meaning, working fireplaces and jacuzzi’s which makes good for a super romantic lock in with the one you love.  Family time can be enjoyed at the Inn also.  In fact there were many families enjoying the Inn during my visit.  Apparently, you can book a party at the pool!  Cool right?   The pool has a life size replica of the Mayflower with a 80ft slide that winds through the boat. There is a whirlpool, sauna, lap lanes and a deck for those who prefer sunbathing.  I wasn’t surprised at how accommodating the Inn is to families.  Ms. Catania’s father started it all 40 years ago with the opening of the first Hearth n Kettle.  Now today there are 5 restaurants, 3 Inns and Spas.  She and her brothers have truly created a warm and enjoyable atmosphere for all.

One can get hungry during a tour so lunch at Hearth n Kettle was only fitting.  I am no stranger to the restaurant which is located on the South Shore of Massachusetts.  My husband and I enjoyed many breakfast visits during our newlywed years. Ms. Catania suggested ordering off the lunch menu “The options and portions are just unmatched.”  She was so right.  She ordered a baked scrod that clearly looked like a sumptuous healthy dinner for under $10.  Now, I had a little hesitation about the lunch menu due to the “breakfast served all day” option.  That four word phrase always interprets as “oooh! Pancakes” After some consideration, I opted for the clam chowder and the spinach, bacon and egg salad.  Yes, someone thought it a good idea to take some maple cured bacon, crisp it to perfection and toss it upon spinach. Bravo to that brilliant mind!!  The clam “chowdah” was a winner. It was thick, creamy and very respectful of the clam to potato ratio.  You know there is nothing worse than a chowdah that turns soupy as you’re eating it and most of it is potatoes with tiny clam bits. Shameful!  So back to Hearth n’ Kettle and their awesomeness.  Their homemade salad dressings deserve mentioning because they are truly worthy of stocking in the kitchen.  You MUST try the White French.  Oh my goodness, a dressing should not caress bacon the way White French does. It’s magical all the way down to the tummy. LOL  Oh, and did you know that traditional New England Strawberry shortcake is served on a warm corn muffin and not that spongy round cup cake?  I had no idea but I tell you the truth it is DELICIOUS.  Noooo, I didn’t have dessert at lunch. I returned later that night to get something for my Scandal viewing pleasure.  I tried the Petite Sweets Sampler option.  The menu says it’s for those of us that just want a “taste”. Ha!  It’s really for those of us that can’t make up our mind. LOL  AND they give you more than a taste, you get your choice of 3 out 6 desserts for $7.  Make sure to order that one and you can thank me later.

Now, I’m content with lunch and good conversation with Ms. Cantania but apparently she wants to up the ante by taking me to her amazing spa. Ok! Ok! I surrender Ms Cantania. Beach Plum is her baby and you can feel the love she puts into it when she speaks so passionately about its inception and how she, personally tries everything before it’s made part of her establishment.   The boutique style spa is indeed laid out to be ones sanctuary of peace.  The aromatheraputic scents make you forget the day’s stresses upon entrance.  A nice relaxing  chakra dead sea salt bath was drawn for me before my facial.  Kimberly (massage therapist) is so sweet, I had her repeat the salts to me several times because I just could not decide. She suggested I mix them; We chose a mixture of balance, clarity and energy.  After 20 minutes of aquatic relaxation I was off to my facial. THIS WAS THE BEST FACIAL I EVER HAD and I am no stranger to facials. Seriously, Jessica must wrap her hands in angel wings at night.  Her hands are blessed from the heavens. I might have moaned twice and snored once and I’m not ashamed.  All of my cares were cast away as she nurtured my skin and massaged out some kinks. You want to experience it too? Ok! Ask for the Sea “C” Spa Facial.  Beach Plum has so many great spa options and medspa treatments for those that need a little extra. *whispers*. Kathy (medspa nurse) is your girl for the “extras.”  So fly solo or grab your girls, pick a Package and call up Jeanna (manager) to book you escape. The ladies at the spa have all become friends in my head.  I really enjoy a group of women that know their industry and have a great sense of humor to boot.

Totally relaxed, I finally arrive to my suite. *falls across the bed and enjoys the silence*  As I mentioned above, it was a Thursday night so I had to prepare for Scandal.  Dessert ordered (we talked about that above), Jacuzzi bath drawn, and fireplace turned on. Oh, it was a grand night in what is called the “Suite Dreams” Experience.  Euphoria would best describe how I felt wrapped in a silky plush robe, cozied up on  lavender pillows, and watching Olivia Pope and associates “handle it.” I too had it handled, all courtesy of  John Carver Inn.

So please plan a visit to John Carver Inn and Beach Plum Spa on your next visit to new England. If you’re already here, it’s less than 1hr from Boston and truly worth the trip.  In the meantime...

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